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Kim Sherwood is a young naive teenager who is asked by a friend to model for a shady photographer named Harmon. The photographer works for an unscrupulous businessman who is in league with a local Miami teenage gang in illegally selling photos of young girls in the nude being used and abused. When Kim wants out, the gangster Mr. Lang, blackmails her into staying on by using his strong-armed thugs to enforce order. Written by
Watching H.G. Lewis' later gore epics, the one area where Lewis shows restraint (in fact, flat out avoids) is the presentation of female nudity. I always found that kind of odd considering the other exploitable elements packed in, not to mention the misogynistic violence. Well, I've now seen my first non-gore Lewis film, "Scum of the Earth". It was marketed as a sexploitation roughie, but surprisingly enough, Lewis shows no female nudity here either. Whats the point of a sexploitation film without any nudity? None to be honest. "Scum of the Earth" is tame, weak, and rather dull. Its nowhere near as entertaining as Lewis' later gore films such as "Blood Feast" and "The Wizard of Gore".
There are a few entertaining moments here and there in the film. The "Deep inside, you're dirty" speech is a classic and suitably begins Something Weird Video's opening montage to their DVDs. Also, its neat to see many of Lewis' regulars acting in more restrained, non-horror roles (particularly disorienting is seeing Faud Ramses playing a teenager). Still, the film's lack of any exploitable or tawdry elements despite being an exploitation film dooms it. "Scum of the Earth" is pretty dull and a major letdown when viewed after "The Defilers" (the exploitation gem that Something Weird pairs it up with). (2/10)
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